When you think of plumbing issues in the house, the garbage disposal probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In reality, it’s not uncommon to experience problems. Sometimes, homeowners can clear them up themselves, but sometimes a professional plumbing service, such as Drain Genie Plumbing Services, needs to help. This article reviews how to unclog and clean a garbage disposal, but know we’re just a call away if you need us.
Regularly Clean the Garbage Disposal
The best way to avoid unnecessary wear-and-tear on the disposal is to clean it regularly and avoid putting the wrong things down the drain. When it comes to drain cleaning, the best approach is to plug the drain and fill up the sink with several inches of hot water. Next, add some dish soap and mix it into the water before releasing the plug. The hot, soapy water will run down the drain and through the pipes, taking debris and food as it travels.
After running hot soapy water down the drain, throw in one to two cups of ice and one half to one cup of salt. Then turn on the garbage disposal and run the tap water. The saltwater mixture acts as an abrasive to remove sludge, and it sharpens the disposal blades at the same time.
If you want to scrub away dirt and grime, use a bristled scrub brush with a long handle (avoid putting your hands down the drain) and clean the interior walls. Finally, you can add a lemon or orange peel or even essential oil, turn on the disposal, run the tap water, and finish the project while leaving the kitchen area smelling citrusy and clean.
Garbage Disposal Jamming Culprits
A humming garbage disposal is often jammed, rather than broken. Jams often occur down in the machine, and you can unclog them. The common culprits that jam up disposals include:
- Coffee grounds.
- Vegetables and fruit seeds and skins.
- Bones and shellfish.
How to Safely Unclog a Jammed Disposal
To unclog a garbage disposal jam, follow these instructions. First, many disposals have an automatic off switch triggered by overheating. Find the reset button on top of the machine under the sink, and push it to reset it. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to cut the power to the disposal. The best and safest way to tackle this project is to ensure there’s no possibility the blades could turn while you’re working. After that, use a long utensil to insert in the drain (try to avoid placing your hands down in the blades). Finally, use the utensil to fish around to find and remove any obstruction.
Contact us if those steps don’t work, the disposal won’t turn on, or you continue to hear a humming or intense vibration.